Cute as a Button – Tutorial on fabric covered buttons

Do you have projects you thought were too difficult and impossible, simply because you never tried them? Then you try them and think, what have I been missing! Fabric covered buttons were like that for me. I bought buttons close in color, even used a fabric pin to color buttons when I did upholstery projects. But in reupholstering a love seat for my new office, I wanted it to be special. It had to have the buttons. I knew my mom had a kit. I do not have the name for this kit, but it consisted of little circular plastic pieces. The insides contour (or convex?) to aid the project. That’s it. There is another little tool that would not work with prong back upholstery buttons. After using prong back upholstery buttons for the chair I covered recently, I was hooked and bought a bunch on ebay.

So here are the ingredients.


Plastic piece, circle cut of fabric, button back and cover and my model for the one my mom did for me.


Place the fabric atop the plastic tool.


Place button front atop the fabric.


Smoosh down and gather the fabric to the middle with your finger.


Put button back on top. Hold down with your left hand (if you’re right handed).


I used big pliers for the next step. Perhaps you can find a better tool. Press the button back firmly, moving around the sides of the button back. The curve of the plastic piece will press it all together.


Keep going. It’s a balancing act between hands.


How it looks when you’ve pressed it all down.


Viola! See the back. So professional looking. Now, if it went in very easily, it may not be tight enough. I found that out the hard way when some tops popped off (after I’d already stapled everything down on the love seat!) Test them by flicking the top of the button to make sure it is secure.


And here is the front. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And so simple.

A lot of upholstery projects are like this. With the right tools, they really aren’t that hard to do, but they impress people because it’s mysterious. It’s one of those, look like you spent hundreds when you only spent $50.

Good luck! I only with I had more tufting to do.

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